Young people, tea and the future of the world
Time for Tea is an educational activity which uses tea to give young people a voice. It encourages global learning, creative thinking and social action. It is simple, fun and accessible to people of any age, background or ability, anywhere in the world. Time for Tea is an initiative of Momentum World CIC and the Centre for International Learning and Leadership (CILL).
Recent events such as Greta Thunberg’s school strikes and the Extinction Rebellion movement have not only captured headlines but also shown how necessary it is to find new and smarter ways to allow young people to speak out on the issues that matter to them, and to create a workable dialogue between them and older generation decision makers. This is what Time for Tea does, with the added advantage that this dialogue can be located within, not outside, the education process.
- Tea brings people together. It is enjoyed in different cultures all round the world.
- When busy people have a cup of tea, they stop and relax for a moment – the perfect time to listen and think.
- The medium of tea allows young people to initiate dialogue with decision makers in a way that is engaging and non-confrontational.
How it works
Any teacher, youth worker or other motivated person can lead a Time for Tea project, with a group of any age, in or out of the classroom. No specialist knowledge is required.
Time for Tea is designed to allow maximum flexibility, so the approach, content, activities and timetable can be adapted to the needs and interests of each group. The project can support almost any subject on the formal education curriculum.
There are 3 simple steps:
- Plan your activities. Choose a group of young people to work with. Remember – it is their project: the leader should only advise and support.
- Explore the issues that matter to young people about the world, near or far.
- Decide which topic is most important: what do you want to say about it, and who you do want to listen?
- Get some tea, and work together to design an imaginative packet for the tea plus your message. How creative can you be?
- Deliver your tea and message to the person you want to listen. Ask them to drink the tea and think about your message. Hopefully they will answer or offer to meet you.
- Tell the story of your project, through video, photographs or other media. Send it to us, and we share it with the world on the website.
- We encourage links between schools, leading to further international project initiatives.
We have run Time for Tea pilot projects in 18 countries, involving schools and youth groups as far afield as Armenia, Jordan, Romania or war-torn eastern Ukraine. We have shown how a simple cup of tea can generate social, technical and educational innovation. We have gained unique insights into how tea is perceived by young people, and the potential for brand development across different cultures.
We are now planning to expand the project in the UK and worldwide with the ambition to engage thousands of young people in 100 countries by 2023 and to reach a wider audience of millions through social media.
In 1963 a young man called Satish Kumar walked from his native India to the four “nuclear capitals” of the world at the time – Moscow, Paris, London and Washington DC – to deliver a message of peace to their leaders. Travelling with no money and relying solely on the kindness of strangers, along the way he was given four packets of tea by a factory worker in Georgia, with the request to deliver the tea along with his message. The idea was that before deciding to press the nuclear button, those powerful men might stop and think for a moment, as they drank their tea.
Satish, now a world-renowned peace activist living in England and still active as Editor Emeritus of the magazine Resurgence and Ecologist, has given his personal endorsement to the project, encouraging young people to follow in his footsteps. “Time for Tea is time to act” he says, “to make the world a better place, to let go of your prejudices, to take care of each other. Thank you for believing in young people.” Satish’s message to project participants can be seen on the Time for Tea website www.time4tea.info
This is a 3-part project:
- A1. TC in London 24-29 April
- A2. Local projects May-June
- A3. Dissemination event in Brussels 4-8 July
School teachers, youth workers or volunteers with experience of non-formal methods and interested in new approaches; good working knowledge of English. Most important – ready to organise a local Time for Tea project with a group of children or young people, and then to attend the final dissemination event in Brussels (4-8 July).
Participants should fly to and from London airports.
IMPORTANT: please do not make any final bookings until you have checked with us.
Participants will stay in shared (en-suite) rooms. Single rooms can be arranged for an additional charge.
The participation fee also includes attendance at activity A3 in Brussels.